Student Union - Susannah Benjamin
A junior at Greenwich Academy, Susannah terms herself a“conceptual surrealist photographer” who is inspired by the faces of her subjects and their possibilities as characters in her dreamlike storytelling—or story suggesting—scenarios.
“I keep a notebook, and I might scribble down a couple of words if I get an idea,” she says. “It might amount to nothing, but sometimes I’ll come back to it.” The map photograph, for example, grew from a combination of graphics—“the esthetic quality of all the lines intersecting”—and the consideration of personal distances. “I thought about wanting to travel, and how when you look at maps, inches will actually be miles and miles away, and I got the idea of taking away the scale and just wishing that all the people we’re close to were only as far away as the inches on a map.”
Susannah has no doubt that photography will figure prominently in her future. “I really could not imagine doing anything else with my life except take photographs,” she says, but her ambitions and aspirations are tempered by a realistic appraisal of the difficulties of being a full-time photographer, especially in the fine art field. “I know that fine art is a little idealistic,” she says, but at the moment she’s not going to worry about that. “Right now I have the freedom to do what I want.”
Her college plans center around studies in the literary arts and art history. “I’ve always been a reader,” she says, “and I spend most of my time preoccupied with ideas. My ideal world is a surreal, bizarre place.”
And to portray it she expects to cast both words and images in significant roles.
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